The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) held its second-to-last Legislative Council of the 2017-18 academic year on March 28, during which councillors deliberated ways to manage the miscalculated Journal Fund and Special Projects Fund. They also voted on Councillor of the Year, the results of which will be announced at the AUS Awards on April 9. Finally, Council also discussed how AUS will take a larger role in planning next year’s Grad Fair, and passed a motion to add a Vice-President (VP) HelpDesk position to the Computer Science Undergraduate Society (CSUS).
Reallocation of the Journal Fund and Special Projects Fund
Due to miscommunications between AUS VP Finance Noah Lew and the AUS Financial Management Committee (FMC), the FMC miscalculated the amount of funds available for clubs at their March 21 meeting. According to Arts Representative Kevin Zhou, the FMC mistakenly combined the Supplementary Fund, the Journal Fund, and the Special Projects Fund, and in doing so put $4,000 of the Supplementary Fund’s money into the other two funds.
“FMC was told by the VP Finance that the three discretionary funds are merging,” Zhou said. “However, after the last FMC meeting, [the committee realized that] the funds are not merging and that it is 20 per cent overfunding [for Journal and Special Projects Funds] but is underspending for departmental associations’ Supplementary Fund.”
Zhou further explained that many journals have already incurred expenses for upcoming launches and will face a budget deficit if AUS were to reallocate funds. In response, Council voted unanimously in favour of Zhou’s motion to move several journal and special projects applications, including those from the Montreal World Health Organization Simulation (MonWHO) and the Department of English Student Association (DESA), to the Supplementary Fund.
Suggestion to add new category to Teaching Awards
On March 26, the AUS Awards Selection Committee chose the winners of the 2017-18 Teaching Awards: Course Lecturer Kazue Takamura, Teaching Assistant David Collins, and Arts Advisor Brandy Jugandi. In response to some faculty members’ supposed dissatisfaction with the winners, DESA VP External Thomas MacDonald and VP Academic Madeline Wilson agreed that future Teaching Awards should include a separate category for course lecturers.
“I haven’t considered the idea since there were other course lecturers nominated,” Wilson said. “I would definitely recommend [next year’s AUS Awards Selection Committee] to reconsider that because I’m sorry to hear that there are many faculty members who are upset about the nominations.”
AUS to play larger role in next Grad Fair
In the past, the AUS has partnered with the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) to jointly plan the AUS Grad Fair, an annual event for students to meet representatives from graduate programs. At the Council meeting, VP External Alice Yue announced that AUS will take a larger organizational role in future Grad Fairs, with the next one planned for Nov. 7, 2018. Yue also proposed to CaPS that AUS receive 85 per cent of the Fair’s revenue, instead of CaPS’ suggested 60 per cent, which comes from graduate programs’ registration free. Moving forward, she is looking for ways to lower the Grad Fair planning cost from $5,000 to $2,000. This increase is largely the result of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Building closure, as AUS has previously benefited from 10 hours of free booking per week through SSMU.
“AUS will communicate with universities and take care of registration and payments,” Yue said. “[Holding the Grad Fair at New Residence] will make shipping from McGill more complicated, so we’re going to collaborate with SUS and EUS for advice because they hold Tech Fair at New Residence every year.”
Motion to Approve Amended CSUS Constitution passes
Council voted unanimously to give HelpDesk—a tutoring service for computer science students—a representative Vice-President position on CSUS Council. Nicholas Lee, VP Arts of CSUS, spoke to the service’s value, explaining that a council position would help the HelpDesk appoint introductory computer science course tutors who have helped many students this year. Meanwhile, it also voted to change quorum for CSUS Executive Council from four members to 50 per cent of the council, as council meetings have had trouble reaching quorum in the past.
The last AUS Legislative Council will be on April 11.